OSTP

OSTP to Hold Science Integrity Listening Sessions

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) will hold a series of public virtual listening sessions to inform its assessment of federal scientific integrity policies pursuant to President Biden‚Äôs January memorandum on science integrity and evidence-based policymaking. These sessions will complement an open request for information on science integrity and evidence-based policymaking (see previous coverage). Each of the three listening sessions will focus on a different theme: July 28: Communication July 29: Science and Education July 30: Use of Scientific and Technical Information More details and information on how to register for the listening sessions is available…

NIH and OSTP to Hold Stakeholder Listening Sessions on ARPA-H Priorities

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) have announced the dates for a series of virtual listening sessions to receive feedback from scientific societies, patient advocacy groups, industry, and other stakeholders about potential projects and priorities for Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H), the proposed new agency to be housed within NIH dedicated to high-risk, high-reward research applied to solve broad societal problems (see previous COSSA coverage for more details). The listening sessions, which will be broken up by topical focus, may include a variety of formats including large,…

White House Seeks Input on Scientific Integrity Policies

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) has issued a request for information (RFI) on ways to improve the effectiveness of federal scientific integrity policies, in support of President Biden‚Äôs January 27¬†Memorandum on Restoring Trust in Government Through Scientific Integrity and Evidence-Based Policymaking (see previous coverage). OSTP has convened an interagency task force of the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) that will conduct a review of the government‚Äôs science integrity policies. To inform this effort, OSTP seeks information about: ‚Äú(1) The effectiveness of federal scientific integrity policies and needed areas of improvement; (2) good practices federal…

Eric Lander Active in First Few Weeks as OSTP Director; Community Awaits PCAST Appointments

In the first few weeks since his confirmation on May 28, Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) Eric Lander has been active in advocating for President Biden‚Äôs ambitious science policy agenda, most notably the proposal for the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H), the DARPA-like research agency proposed to be housed within the National Institutes of Health (NIH). During the June 10-11 meeting of the Advisory Committee to the Director of NIH, Lander presented a more thorough vision of ARPA-H‚Äôs role as a high risk, high reward vehicle to address specific societal questions….

Senate Committee Considers Lander Nomination to OSTP

On April 29, the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee held a hearing to discuss the nomination of Dr. Eric Lander as President Biden‚Äôs pick to lead the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), a role that the President has elevated to Cabinet-level. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) chaired the hearing and in her opening remarks, she acknowledged Lander‚Äôs scientific accomplishments, but also noted concerns about past actions related to women and minorities in STEM fields. The hearing provided an opportunity to clear the record on these and other issues and to explore Dr. Lander‚Äôs positions and goals…

Biden Administration Executive Actions: Scientific Integrity

On January 27, President Biden issued a Memorandum on Restoring Trust in Government Through Scientific Integrity and Evidence-Based Policymaking that states the Administration‚Äôs policy to ‚Äúmake evidence-based decisions guided by the best available science and data‚ÄĚ and affirms that ‚Äúscientific findings should never be distorted or influenced by political considerations.‚ÄĚ The memorandum builds on and updates an Obama Administration Executive Order requiring federal agencies develop scientific integrity policies. President Biden‚Äôs memorandum establishes a Task Force on Scientific Integrity that will review existing scientific integrity policies and recommend improvements. It also sets more detailed requirements for what should be included in…

White House Outlines FY 2022 R&D Budget Priorities

On August 14, the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) issued a memorandum laying out the Trump Administration‚Äôs research and development budget (R&D) priorities for fiscal year (FY) 2022. The memo cites five key White House priorities and four ‚Äúhigh-priority crosscutting actions‚ÄĚ for U.S. federal agencies to consider as they develop their FY 2022 budget submissions. While the FY 2022 memo shares similar priorities to R&D memos from previous fiscal years, a notable difference is the inclusion of public health security and innovation as a priority in light of the…

PCAST Holds Virtual Meeting, Swears in New Members from Academia

On June 30, the President‚Äôs Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) held a virtual meeting during which two new members of PCAST were sworn in. Abraham ‚ÄúAvi‚ÄĚ Loeb, Professor and Chair of the Department of Astronomy at Harvard University, and Daniela Rus, Director of the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, were sworn in after being nominated in April amid discussions that new PCAST nominees would represent academia given that representatives from industry have already been appointed (see previous COSSA coverage for more details). Much of the meeting was dedicated to discussing…

White House Announces Appointments for PCAST and NSB

On April 20, the White House announced the appointment of several individuals for key positions in the Administration including two seats on the President‚Äôs Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) and four seats on the National Science Board (NSB), the advisory body to the National Science Foundation (NSF). This wave of nominations for PCAST follows an announcement from White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) Director and PCAST Chair Kelvin Droegemeier that several future PCAST nominees would come from academia rather than industry (read previous COSSA coverage for more details). The two nominees for PCAST are:…

OSTP Director Kelvin Droegemeier Named Acting NSF Director

Kelvin Droegemeier, Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), has been named the acting director of the National Science Foundation (NSF) until the Senate confirms a permanent successor to the previous NSF Director, France C√≥rdova. C√≥rdova finished her six-year term heading the agency in March 2020 (see previous COSSA coverage for more details). The White House announced the nomination of Sethuraman Panchanathan as NSF Director in January 2020, however the timeline for the Senate to consider Panchanathan‚Äôs nomination has been made unclear by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to his tenure as OSTP Director, Droegemeier…

Work on FY 2021 Appropriations Slows as Congress Works to Address Coronavirus Outbreak

While it is expected that Congress will soon put its regular appropriations work on hold as work shifts to address the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, committees have begun hearing testimony from Trump Administration officials on federal agencies‚Äô budget proposals for fiscal year 2021. White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) Director Kelvin Droegemeier testified in front of the House Science Committee on the Administration‚Äôs budget for research and development (see previous coverage), NIH leadership testified before the House Appropriations Committee (see related article), and Department of Commerce leadership testified before the House and Senate Appropriations Committees. No appropriations bills…

OSTP Requests Information on Open Access in Peer-Reviewed Publications

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) released a request for information on the implications of open access to peer-reviewed publications and data resulting from federally funded research. The request is intended to follow up on a 2013¬†memorandum from OSTP titled Increasing Access to the Results of Federally Funded Scientific Research and a 2019 report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) providing recommendations for increasing public access of unclassified published research. OSTP is most interested in hearing perspectives on the following topics: The existing limitations of communicating research outputs and how to improve communications; The role of…

March’s Headlines Webchat to Feature OSTP Assistant Director for Academic Engagement

COSSA members are encouraged to sign up for the monthly Headlines webchat on Thursday, March 12. The COSSA team will break down the most important social and behavioral science news from the past month and answer your questions. The February chat will feature a deep dive discussion with Dr. Lisa Nichols, Assistant Director for Academic Engagement at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). Individuals employed by or affiliated with a COSSA member organization or university can register for the webchat here. Back to this issue’s table of contents.

House Science Committee Holds Hearing on FY 2021 Research and Development Budget Request

On February 27, the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology held a hearing to review the Administration‚Äôs fiscal year (FY) 2021 budget request for research and development (see COSSA‚Äôs analysis of the President‚Äôs budget request). Dr. Kelvin Droegemeier, Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), was the committee‚Äôs only witness and discussed the administration‚Äôs priorities across federal science agencies. Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) expressed concern for proposed cuts to research funding at the National Science foundation (NSF), NASA, the Department of Energy, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). In her opening…

COSSA Responds to JCORE RFI

In response to a request for information (RFI) from the Joint Committee on the Research Environment (JCORE) (see previous coverage), COSSA submitted a collection of resources produced by its member associations relevant to JCORE‚Äôs four primary areas of interest: (1) Research Rigor and Integrity; (2) Coordinating Administrative Requirements for Research; (3) Research Security; and (4) Safe and Inclusive Research Environments. As COSSA‚Äôs letter states, ‚ÄúGiven [the social sciences‚Äô] focus on the human condition across multiple scales, it is not surprising that our sciences have a lot to say about the topics of interest to JCORE.‚ÄĚ The document is intended to…

OSTP Requests Feedback on Data Repositories and Data Sharing

The While House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) issued a Request for Public Comment on January 17 on Draft Desirable Characteristics of Repositories for Managing and Sharing Data Resulting from Federally Funded Research. The request, published in the Federal Register, was issued on behalf of the multi-agency Subcommittee on Open Science of the National Science and Technology Council‚Äôs Committee on Science. The proposed set of desirable characteristics are intended to improve the consistency of information that federal agencies provide to the scientific community about the long-term preservation of data resulting from federally funded research. The Subcommittee on Open…

OSTP Seeks Input on Research Environment

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) has issued a request for information (RFI) on the research environment. Comments will be used to inform the work of the Joint Committee on the Research Environment (JCORE), a committee of the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC). JCORE was established in May 2019 and comprises four subcommittees: (1) Research Rigor and Integrity; (2) Coordinating Administrative Requirements for Research; (3) Research Security; and (4) Safe and Inclusive Research Environments (see previous coverage). The request asks for information on actions that Federal agencies can take, working in partnership with private industry,…

White House Hosts Summit of the Joint Committee on the Research Environment

The Joint Committee on the Research Environment (JCORE), a committee of the National Science and Technology Council, hosted a White House Summit in Washington, DC on November 5. JCORE was established in May 2019 and, as COSSA has reported, is working to address some of the most pressing challenges facing America‚Äôs research and scientific community. COSSA, along with other members of the scientific community, attended and discussed topics including administrative burdens on federally funded research; rigor and integrity in research; and safe, inclusive, and equitable research settings. Representatives from industry, academia, and senior officials from the National Institutes of Health,…

White House Reconstitutes President’s Council of Advisory on Science and Technology

On October 22, the Trump Administration issued an executive order reconstituting the President‚Äôs Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST). PCAST is comprised of experts from science and technology from outside the government who volunteer to advise the White House; it has not met since the Obama Administration. In addition to reconstituting the council, the President also appointed seven members to PCAST. The members primarily have backgrounds in the private sector: Dario Gill of IBM research, A.N. Sreeram of Dow Chemical, Sharon Hrynkow of Cyclo Therapeutics, H. Fisk Johnson of S.C. Johnson Inc., Catherine Bessant of Bank of America,…

OSTP Committee Releases Roadmap on Stemming the Opioid Crisis

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy‚Äôs (OSTP) Fast Track Action Committee on Health Science and Technology Response to the Opioid Crisis (Opioid FTAC), established in late 2017, has released a roadmap for health research and development to support the Administration‚Äôs opioid response. A draft of the report was released for public comment in late 2018. The final report, ‚ÄúHealth Research & Development to Stem the Opioid Crisis: A National Roadmap,‚ÄĚ identifies knowledge gaps as well as opportunities to improve coordination to better address the opioid epidemic. It covers seven major areas of research, including several with particular…

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